Am I Really An Alcoholic?

Even if your friends and family members are constantly giving you guff about the excess of your drinking, it may be hard to come to terms with the fact that you might possibly be struggling with a drinking problem to some degree. After all, no one really knows, they aren’t doctors. And most of your friends drink the same amount you do, just because there are a few wet blankets in the bunch doesn’t mean those of you who do know how to have a good time are alcoholics. I certainly did not know I was alcoholic until long after everyone close to me did. My parents and close relatives held a professional intervention for me when I was 21. I essentially laughed in their faces, convinced that they were losing their minds and I was just a regular ole college student, binge drinking 5 times a week as I should be.

It wasn’t until I was 23 that I realized alcoholism was a progressive disease, and my loved ones were able to detect the beginning stages while I remained deep in denial. By 23 I was binge drinking alone every evening, drinking throughout the day, and self-harming during some of my blackouts because I simply could not bear to be myself. Fortunately I had another shot at recovery, and checked into treatment in October of 2013. There is absolutely a big part of me that wishes I would have recognized my affliction sooner – I would have been saved 3 years of hurt and heartache, the empty despair that some alcoholics bottom into until they are lifted out by the hands of those that came before them. However, I am also grateful that things got as bad as they did, for this desperation allowed me to dive headfirst into a program of recovery that would prove to save my life.

How Do I Know If Treatment Is Necessary?

Have you ever tried to control your drinking? Many individuals who unwittingly suffer from alcoholism go to great lengths in attempting to control their drinking. Some will switch from hard liquor to only beer or wine, promising themselves they will avoid the hard stuff indefinitely only to return to it weeks later. Some will vow to only drink on weekends, some will promise themselves they will drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage. If these insane rules are successful, they are likely only so for a short time – and soon, drinking is reinstated as it was, or worse. If you are questioning whether or not you are actually an alcoholic, practice some moderate drinking. Go to the bar and have one drink. Take notice as to whether or not you are obsessing over drinking more, if you are consumed with thoughts of alcohol and drinking even if you are able to stop yourself from physically imbibing. See if you can go for a week or a month without use. See how prevalent thoughts of drinking are in your day-to-day life. Keep in mind that you may be able to forgo drinking for an extended period of time successfully. But are you happy? Do you feel fulfilled? Or are you engaging in other outlets of distraction and self-destructive behavior? When it comes down to it, you may be an alcoholic if you cannot control your drinking or cannot control how much you drink once you pick up – and even if you can control your drinking because your will-power is exceptionally impressive, you may be an alcoholic if you find yourself consumed with thoughts of drinking when you are not. Try to drink like a gentlemen if you are unsure, and be completely honest with yourself during the process. And if you do believe that you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or any other chemical substance, call Hope Center today for a personalized and detailed evaluation.

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